Battleship Redefines 'Stupid'

Taylor Kitsch stars in board game-turned-movie

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 18, 2012 10:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's got a cast full of hotshots and heartthrobs, from Taylor Kitsch to Rihanna to Liam Neeson, but Battleship is about as intellectually stimulating as its board game namesake. But despite the overwhelming critical vitriol, a few reviewers enjoyed it:

  • "This is the kind of summer movie that softens your brain tissue without even providing the endocrine burst of pleasure that would make it all worthwhile," writes Dana Stevens at Slate. "It even—please fine me for saying this—makes Michael Bay’s Transformers movies look rollicking by comparison."

  • "Battleship is the worst humans-fighting-aliens movie I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of humans-fighting-aliens movies," notes Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News. It's a lot like the game: "impersonal, plastic, and has lots of easy-to-misplace pieces."
  • At Salon, Andrew O'Hehir calls the film "baffling and incoherent," featuring an "extraordinary, mind-melting level of stupidity."
  • But in Time, Steven James Snyder feels very differently, citing the movie's "mystery, nostalgia," and "healthy dose of humility." It's "an unapologetically goofy, surprisingly enigmatic, refreshingly self-deprecating deviation from the norm," he writes.
In quasi-related news, click to learn about how to win at Battleship—every time you play.

In this film publicity image released by Universal Pictures, Tadanobu Asano, left, and Taylor Kitsch are shown in a scene from Battleship.
In this film publicity image released by Universal Pictures, Tadanobu Asano, left, and Taylor Kitsch are shown in a scene from "Battleship.   (AP Photo/Universal Pictures)
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A trailer for the film.   (YouTube)

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